Proud winner, Fiona Campbell
Very tasty winnings
President Rob racked every sinew of his body trying to find an embarrassing put down of John
John had briefed a young scribe, ready to record anything slanderous
Rob gave up and proceeded to tell the crowd of all the hard work and effort put in by the Luckhurst family on behalf of the club
In the absence of some of the older members, not quite as old Brian Thomas got the race underway. A first of sorts.
The Luckhursts have become an integral part of the Serpentine extended family
John joined the club in 2011, when he moved to a new office whose location fortunatley entailed a journey from Charing Cross station across Hyde Park and past the Serpentine. John's enthusiasm for swimming in the Serpentine spread to the rest of the family, who all joined in 2014 (or was it just that they were suspicious of where John was disappearing to on a Saturday morning, and returning with a big smile of satisfaction on his face?). They have all become dedicated members and regular racers (though of late daughter Katherine has enjoyed quite a few Saturday morning lie-ins).
As a family they have become very involved within the club. Vice-Captain Alan is very much involved in organising "Team Serpentine" in external events. John took over the role of organising cup engraving when John Reid moved to Brighton and, with Mike Harris, has been busy cataloguing the club's cups and trophies. Concerning Mrs Luckhurst, Mr Luckhurst writes: "Linda is one of those quiet, thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful individuals that the Club has so many examples of that I can think of. She is completely sold on the Club and loves the privilege of providing the desserts for the Christmas Party. She has been an exceptional mother to our three children whilst managing life as a busy GP. At the moment she is under super pressure but is coping very well".
Fiona with her hands on the shiny trophy
The Luckhurst race is also the third leg of the Emmi Hunte series
Today was the third of the four fixtures of the Emmi Hunte series of races swum between February and October over varying distances - February 55 yards (50m), March 110 yards (100m), August 880 yards (800m) with the final 100 yard (90m) race held in late October.
Storm Eunice caused the cancellation of the February leg of the series (the 1868 Captain's Cup, appropriately sponsored by our club captain Deirdre Ward). The October event will be keenly contested by those in with a chance.
Charlie Frith second
Third place to Mark Johansen (aka Mr Hungry)
Apple juice pressed early that morning for Daine Ferguson
Back garden bouquet for Captain Deirdre
They may not have raced, but they were a very important part of the morning's swimming - Wardens Petter and Lina
The Andean Project cup was donated by club members Patricia and Bill Vincent
Patricia was born in Welwyn Garden City in 1925 but grew up in Buenos Aires where her father was a civil engineer. Patricia dated her interest in desert gardens from the age of four when she was presented with a small plot of desert land. Patricia's husband and fellow devotee to the Andean Project (and to the Serpentine Swimming Club) was a retired British diplomat named Ivor Francis Sutherland Vincent, though Pat and all of us at the Serpentine always knew him as Bill - no idea why!
Sadly Bill died in 1994, but Patricia carried on the work in Arica, northern Chile, splitting her time between London and Chile until Patricia's own illness meant she had to ask for the Project to be closed down in late 2009.
In January 2010 the Government of Chile conferred on her the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins in the grade of Knight Commander (Comendador) for the valuable contribution she had made to the development and preservation of the flora and fauna of the Chilean Andean region. Just before Patricia left the UK for the last time she visited us at her beloved Serpentine to watch the Saturday morning race. It is a testament to Pat's powers of persuasion that the taxi driver brought the black cab down to the Lido for her to view proceedings.
Patricia died on 23 May 2011 in her own bed in her own flat in Arica, Chile, in the country in which she wanted to end her days.
(source for the above is my own recollections of Pat and Bill, plus "The Clarion, October 2011 - the parish magazine of St Mary the Boltons). Brian Thomas
The cup made its debut as a relay event on a chilly May morning in 1987
The Andean Project Serpentine SC relay
Established in 1985, the principal aim of the Andean Project was "to enable research to be carried out into the ability of the plants of the Atacama Desert to thrive at different altitudes, and to develop their medicinal and nutritional potential". The end goal was to provide assistance to the indigenous people of this part of the Andes to develop sustainable farming practices.
To promote the project, Serpentine SC members Patrica and Bill Vincent sponsored a relay race and cup which first appreared on the fixture list in 1987.
By the late 1990s Patricia was spending more time in Chile. Her friend and fellow Serpie South American "exile" Barney Miller took over the prize giving for the Andean Project relay, which had become a 4 x 220 yard event in high summer.
Barney stood down from sponsoring the Andean relay after the 2011 race. The relay event was dropped from the calendar, but in 2016 the cup and its memories were "repurposed" for the third race in the Daily Telegraph series, which itself has now been repurposed as the Emmi Hunte series.
Barney passed away in early January 2020, aged 90. Mike Olizar and Brian Thomas represented the club at the memorial service. It was only then that we discovered that Barnie had been awarded an OBE in the mid 1990s for his role in Anglo-Argentinian relations.
And finally, quite literally "watch this space".
(Report compiled by Brian Thomas)